The Boorsok Fair

Have you heard of boorsok? It’s a deep fried dough dish, often used as a table decoration in Kyrgyzstan. Guess what, now it’s also a very effective peacebuilding tool…

A few weeks ago, we organized a Boorsok Fair in Talas, northern Kyrgyzstan, and invited youth leaders, atyncha (religious women), imams, journalists, and policemen to attend. We divided them in mixed groups that faced each other in a cooking competition, preparing yummy traditional dishes from different regions. Their formidable preparations were rated by our inflexible (and eager) judges, and each team shared them with the others.

At the event, groups that sometimes struggle to cooperate spent a fun day together, enjoying food and laughter, and talked about the problems that their communities face in an informal setting. With our facilitation, they discussed collaborative methods to counter violent extremism and radicalization in the country, building mutual trust and setting the basis for further cooperation.

The Boorsok Fair is one of many initiatives of this kind. If you’re curious about innovative CVE methods, like Search for Common Ground Kyrgyzstan​‘s Facebook page!